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January 6th, 2012

Movie Review - War Horse

War Horse

Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Neils Arestrup, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Celine Buckens, Toby Kebbel, David Cross, and many more...

Directed by: Steven Spieldberg Screenplay by: Lee Hall and Richard Curtis Based on the Book by: Michael Morpurgo Original Music by: John Williams Cinematography by: Janusz Kamiski

Premise: After a young man, Albert, and a young horse, Joey, are brought together and bond, the two are separated with the coming of World War I. But not before Albert vows to somehow meet again someday. (PG-13)

Review: Black Beauty meets The Red Violin! I don't know what it was about the previews, but I eagerly awaited the coming of this film. Hubby had no interest, but ended up going with me and loved it.

Older audiences will be reminded of great classics like My Friend Flicka, Black Beauty, and Old Yeller. And because the film follows not only Joey's adventure but Albert's father's regiment flag, as well as the encapsulated stories of those Joey meets, the film was very reminiscent of the captivating film the Red Violin. 

War Horse is a family friendly movie. Spieldberg went out of his way to hide moments of death to anyone the viewers might have become vested in, so though they die, it shouldn't traumatize the kids. There are still some scenes of violence, but very few, and the blood is kept to a minimum. Do take a hanky just in case. Some will need it. (I did!)

The film is a coming of age tale showing the courage of animals and people, of hope and loyalty. Between the goose, Joey, and the major's black horse, the animals steal the show. The acting was also superb from everyone present. Some of the best scenes were those without dialogue - where a look or a simple gesture conveyed volumes. Very nicely done. 

The locations are fabulous. The sets for the trench warfare and no man's land will make you feel like you are there. Some truly majestic and sweeping camera work. 

Definitely worth a watch, with or without the kids.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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